Using his “9 Golden Rules” of infidelity, Rossi teaches women how to successfully cheat on their significant others.
Forget the image of the cheating playboy—or playgirl, in this case—as a good-time Charlene running around on her man and having the time of her life. According to Rossi, cheating—“not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’ proposition”—is hard work, requiring iron discipline, military-caliber planning and a hefty serving of austere self-denial. The author’s self-professed sole qualification as an expert in this field is a lifetime of philandering—except, as he assures his wife in the book’s dedication to her, now that he’s happily, faithfully married. Each chapter delineates one of Rossi’s tried-and-true—from his extensive experience—strategies for getting away with straying, tenets such as “Hide the Evidence,” “Never with Someone You Know” and “Deny Everything.” The trick to a successful affair, according to the author, an aerospace project engineer, is to approach the endeavor with the same cool, logical detachment one might bring to a bank heist. Rossi tries to erase traditionally perceived gender lines by insisting that women can learn to treat sex like men do—as an itch to be scratched. But he falls into every well-trodden gender stereotype—women love chocolate, can’t keep secrets and tend to quickly develop feelings for a sexual partner, especially after 30. And though his target audience is female, under the guise of humorous asides he reveals an unsettlingly sexist view of the fairer sex—women lie, are “dead fish” and should consider “hot lesbian action” if they are toying with the idea of an affair. Rossi doesn’t attempt to apologize for his cheating strategies, such as practicing lying (“That way, you will fall out of the habit of sharing everything with [your mate] so that crucial details won’t slip out when you finally have your fling”). To the contrary, he repeatedly, and unconvincingly, makes the argument that discreet cheating can save relationships and strengthen the institution of marriage. Rossi’s treatise reduces cheating to one more tiresome but necessary chore for today’s busy, multitasking woman to check off her to-do list.
Potential value as a competently written, step-by-step how-to from an apparently experienced insider, but often reads more as a gleeful tell-all from a guy who got away with it.